Uzbekistan signs railway deal with Afghanistan for potential sea access


TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan and Afghanistan have inked a deal to extend a railway connecting the two countries, potentially giving landlocked Uzbekistan direct access to seaports, Voice of America reported Tuesday (December 5).

A short railway between Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif, both in Afghanistan, has connected the two points since 2011.

Among scores of deals signed by Uzbekistani President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Tuesday (December 5) in Tashkent, the two countries agreed to link Mazar-e-Sharif and the western Afghan city of Herat by rail, Mirziyoyev's office said in a statement.

Another link connecting Herat to Iran is already under construction, potentially allowing Uzbekistan to directly transport cargo to and from Iran's Persian Gulf ports.

No details about the cost and funding of the project were given.

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